Microsoft release Windows Media plugin for Firefox (for Windows)

In an unprecented move, Microsoft have apparently released a Windows Media Player plugin for our favourite cross-platform free software web browser, Firefox.

While Firefox users have generally been able to play MP3 audio files, and MPEG2 and MPEG4 videos, using Apple's QuickTime player plug-in, streaming of some Microsoft-specific formats such as WMV has sometimes been elusive. Depending on your setup, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And Web sites that depend on access to the WMP console - including, admittedly, Microsoft co-owned and operated sites such as MSNBC.com - have sometimes responded with cryptic messages saying videos are unavailable. Up to now, MSNBC.com told viewers using Firefox they couldn't see videos from the site...with a video showing an MSNBC anchor delivering the apology directly.

But with the plug-in installed, that's changed; and now, Windows XP SP2 and Vista users who have Windows Media Player 11 can now be assured they can see videos from Microsoft's and other's sites whose video display abilities relies on their accessibility to Microsoft's rights management on the client side. Sites that didn't have this problem in Firefox - such as CBSNews.com - continue to work well.

This is a great move in my opinion and it will hopefully make the Firefox experience a lot better for the many Windows users that are now using it as their browser.

I've said this before, but I'll reiterate it - the Firefox experience is what many people's first experience of free/open source software will be, so in my opinion, it's vital that we make that experience as positive as possible.

This was announced on Microsoft's Port 25 blog (their blog from the MS Open Source Software Lab). A lot of the time, I actually really hate the hypocritical way Microsoft go about using Port 25 to 'reach out to the community', while simultaneously having Ballmer make yet another anti-FOSS comment to stab us in the back. This time, though, this is a genuinely good thing to have come out of the lab.

I heartily applaud Microsoft for this particular move.

[via UNEASYsilence]

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Microsoft release Windows Media plugin for Firefox (for Windows)

  1. cyborg9 (guest)

    # Posted on 20 April 2007 at 01:54 AM

    I wonder what the use of this plugin. My Firefox can see video on MSNBC without the new plugin , it still can play even after I uninstalled media connectivity addon.

    And when I install the plugin , nothing change with the web that used to unable to see video or listen to audio.



  2. psibernaut (guest)

    # Posted on 08 September 2007 at 07:14 PM

    It's a bit of a shame that M$ didn't make it available for Windows 2000 as well. Is there a work-around for this?

    psibernaut >;-)



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